How to activate the iPhone messages safety feature for children

iOS 15.2 comes with a new optional tool for parents to help kids stay safe while texting. Follow the procedure to turn on the iPhone Messages for Children safety feature, which alerts you when photos may include nudity.

The new activation feature is officially called “Message Communication Security, this is how Apple describes it:

Enable communications security to protect your child from viewing or sharing photos that contain nudity in the Messages app. If Messages detects that a child is receiving or attempting to send this type of photo, Messages scrambles the photo before it is displayed on your child’s device and provides age-appropriate tips and resources for the child. help them make a safe choice, including contacting someone they trust if they choose.

Importantly, Apple created this feature so that it does not have access to one of the photos in Messages. All processing is done on the device to see if a photo has nudity and messages retain end-to-end encryption.

How to activate the iPhone messages safety feature for children

You will need to use Apple’s Screen Time feature on an adult device to set up the Kids’ iPhone Messages safety feature (requires Family Sharing). Learn more about setting up Family Sharing here if you haven’t already.

  • Make sure your kid and iPhones / iPads are updated to iOS 15.2 (or macOS 12.1)
  • On an adult’s iPhone or iPad, open the Applying settings
  • To choose Screen time
  • Swipe down and choose the child you want to set up iPhone message security for
  • To choose Communications security
  • Tap the toggle at the top next to Find sensitive photos

Here’s what the steps look like on iPhone:

How to enable the iPhone message safety feature for children

You can also read more about Apple’s Child Safety Resources with the link below the feature toggle (pictured above).

Here’s what it looks like with the feature enabled when it recognizes nudity in posts:

How to enable the iPhone message safety for children - walkthrough 2

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